How often do you daydream that a celebrity stylist would come and make over your closet? If you’ve had this fantasy, chances are the stylist you’ve imagined was Rachel Zoe. A renowned Hollywood stylist, editor of The ZOE Report, Zoe now designs her own line of contemporary clothing. Her new book, Living In Style: Inspiration and Advice for Everyday Glamour (Grand Central, March 25), with a foreword by Diane Von is almost as good as a stylist visiting to your closet.
Maybe you’re not sure if you really need a style makeover, though. If you’re having trouble determining whether you’re on the fashionable path or in a deep rut, Zoe identifies six good reasons to take another look at your closet.
Have you had a baby recently? Have you suffered a breakup, or are you enjoying a new relationship? Do you have a new job? Have you lost or gained more than fifteen pounds? Have you moved into a new home? Are you approaching a milestone birthday? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, then it’s time to evaluate your closet. Of course, even if you’ve answered “no” to all these, a new book by Rachel Zoe might be reason enough to take a hard look at your closet. We’ve summarized some of the best tips for you here.
Ditch your knock-offs.
While a Louis Vuitton handbag is certainly stylish, a counterfeit “Vittone” with mismatched hardware definitely isn’t. If you can’t afford a new original purse, Zoe recommends hitting the vintage shops, or simply carrying a great bag without a designer name that suits your signature style.
Find your style icons.
The first step to developing your own signature style, according to Zoe, is to identify people—celebrities, friends, or family—whose style you admire. Post pictures to study, or ask your friend for a tour of her closet to see what she uses to build her signature looks.
Choose your adjectives.
How do you want to look on a regular basis. Glamorous? Bohemian? Powerful? Zoe recommends articulating the style you want to achieve, with one or two key adjectives. From there you can start choosing the clothes that best embody these adjectives for you.
Evaluate your own closet.
According to Zoe, there are two steps to evaluating your current wardrobe. The first is to identify your go-to style items. Is your closet filled with cardigan sweaters and jeans? Pencil skirts and sweaters? Whatever you see the most of in your wardrobe represents your fashion comfort zone. Once you identify this comfort zone, you need to determine whether the clothes are working for you or not. Try on your favorite items and look at them from every angle, taking pictures if necessary. Try on items in multiple outfits, to assess how they are really working in your wardrobe.
Learn some tricks of the trade.
Zoe’s book includes some great tips for looking your best that—she swears!—will work on every body type. Maxi dresses, which Zoe is well known for, will flatter everyone. Petite women should pair them with heels, and opt for more fitted styles. Nude pumps that match your skin tone will make your legs look longer, as long you avoid a bisecting t-strap. White will flatter and freshen your complexion, though you may need to experiment to find the right shade. And finally, darker denim is always more flattering, and wide-leg or boot-cut styles will elongate your legs.
These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg. Zoe’s new book is full of tips on everything from shoes and accessories, hair, makeup, home décor, and entertaining. There’s even a recipe for banana bread. (Yes, really.) Forget about inviting Rachel Zoe over to evaluate your closet; this is the book for anyone who just wants to be Rachel Zoe. And that’s all of us, right?